The United States of StageDrop is a series highlighting customer success stories from a different state each week. This week's United States of StageDrop features the Golden State, California!
Based in Rancho Santa Margarita, California - a suburb of Irvine located in Orange County - Frogmouth Productions has been providing audio visual production services for the competitive ballroom dance community for over 20 years. From small, intimate shows to world-class competitive events, Frogmouth Productions is known for its creative stage designs at dance competitions and events across the country.
Owner Mark Weiss has been involved with the performing arts since childhood, both on stage as a performer as well as working behind the scenes, where he learned every aspect of producing a successful show. As a former professional dance competitor, Mark truly understands the dance business from the inside out.
Frogmouth Productions came about in the year 2000 when Mark, inspired by his theater background, started working on the production side of dance events. He started out providing lighting for dance competitions to enhance the presentation and add some sparkle to the ballrooms. Soon after, he added a sound system and started using pipe and drape to make things look pretty behind the stage and dance floor. Over the years, Mark has built the company to provide everything needed to put on a dance competition.
Evolving Main Stage Design
More recently, Frogmouth Productions ventured into main stage design for dance events. At dance competitions, the main stage is an elevated area behind the dance floor where the emcee and some of the officials are located. It can also double as a grand entrance for the dancers to enter the competition floor. Event organizers had been asking for more in terms of the look of their main stage, so Mark began developing unique stage designs that were more visually exciting and helped differentiate each competition from other events.
“I started utilizing stage design and changing up the design,” Mark relates. “And one of the elements was the actual stage itself. But most of the hotels, you know, they have their own risers and they're usually wobbly and stained, and you're limited as to what you can do with it. You can create an elevated platform and that's about it.” To create the unique stage designs that he had in mind, Mark would need to find a stage system with more options and provide the staging himself.
A Stage System with Myriad Design Options
When Mark decided to build up his own stock of portable staging he chose IntelliStage staging from StageDrop. IntelliStage is a lightweight portable stage system that is composed of 3'x3' and 4'x4' stage platforms with interchangeable collapsible risers. Platforms and risers come in a variety of shapes - square, circular, right triangles, equilateral triangles and rectangular steps. Risers are available in 4 heights - 8", 16", 24" and 32" - and can even be stacked for taller applications.
“IntelliStage’s unique design gives us the flexibility to create almost any configuration you can think of.”
MARK WEISS, OWNER
Frogmouth Productions has been a frequent StageDrop customer since 2015. As Mark formulates a new stage design and sketches out his vision for an upcoming dance competition, he’ll often reach out to StageDrop for specific stage pieces to fill in the gaps and make his new design a reality. His inventory of IntelliStage pieces from StageDrop has built up extensively over the years. “It is quite possible that we have the largest rental inventory of Intellistage in Southern California,” Mark laughs.
“IntelliStage’s unique design gives us the flexibility to create almost any configuration you can think of,” Mark says. “I love all the different shapes so that I can create different angles and do something different than just rectangular platforms. I can take it to the next level, get very creative with it and make it different for each event. And so each organizer feels they have a special look to their event.”
Some events, like the Ohio Star Ball, change their theme each year but want to have a lasting look that people will recognize. “I created a look for them that they maintained for several years so that when you see pictures of dancers, in the background you see their whole stage design and everybody knows what event that is. It's recognizable as the Ohio Star Ball,” Mark explains. “And that's done through various stage elements - drapes and set pieces and the stage itself.”
“It is quite possible that we have the largest rental inventory of IntelliStage in Southern California.”
MARK WEISS, OWNER
Mark also says he often leaves the risers exposed in his configurations and lights them up with different colors to make them part of the stage design, creating a clean, industrial look that adds texture and color to the stage.
Variety is the Spice of Life
While based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Frogmouth Productions travels the country to provide their services to dance competitions nationwide, also maintaining a satellite facility in Nashville. Mark often also personally participates in the competitions as a coach, judge or emcee. “It's a lot of traveling,” he says, “and that can be challenging. But I like it because I like the variety.”
Since COVID-19 hit in March, most of Frogmouth Productions’ events have been on pause, but the hiatus has allowed the company some time to perform maintenance on their AV and stage equipment, plan their next events, and work on some fantastic new stage design ideas. “We're just waiting to bust out and start putting things back together,” Mark says. “I'm pretty sure everybody's anxious to get back to it. We're really just waiting for the go ahead again.”
Indeed, in business as in dance, pauses can be powerful, and we can’t wait to see Frogmouth Productions’ next big design ideas come to life on the main stage.
StageDrop would like to thank Mark Weiss of Frogmouth Productions for his continued business and for allowing us to highlight his AV production company, representing California in this week's United States of StageDrop. We wish him and his company continued success!
Looking to create a unique stage design for your events? Check out our extensive selection of Portable Stages, or call or email us today for a free quote!
Based at the Jersey Shore in Forked River, NJ, StageDrop LLC is a leading provider of stock and custom portable stage systems, stage accessories, truss and event furniture to businesses and consumers nationwide. We specialize in delivering custom stage configurations for business, government, education, religious, fitness and nonprofit organizations. We offer free quotes with expert recommendations to fit our customers' specialized needs.